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Berry and Huffman

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: 08-15-2012
Case #: A146307
Schuman, P.J. for the Court; Wollheim, J.; and Nakamoto, J.
Full Text Opinion: http://www.publications.ojd.state.or.us/Publications/A146307.pdf

Attorney Fees: ORS 107.104 does not entitle a prevailing party to recover attorney fees in absence of independent statutory authority authorizing the recovery of such fees.

Husband appealed a judgment awarding attorney fees to his wife under ORS 107.104, arguing that the award of attorney fees is not authorized under that statute. Upon review of ORS 107.104, the Court of Appeals determined that the statute indeed does not authorize the award of attorney fees because it is neither express in the statutory language nor is it in accord with the legislative purpose of allowing parties to use contract remedies to enforce dissolution judgments. The Court reasoned that the legislature would not create a new remedy without using express language in the statute. The Court further determined that under ORS 107.104(b), a prevailing party may be entitled to attorney fees under independent statutory authority, but, in absence of such independent statutory authority, the wife was not entitled to recover attorney fees. Reversed.